The Catholic University of America

CUA Space Sciences & Space Weather Graduate Program

Since the introduction of the telegraph, the first large-scale electrical system in the nineteenth century, eruptive solar events have had an adverse impact on society. Today these phenomena are called “space weather” that entails the energetic interactions between the Sun, the near-earth environment, and the earth itself. We have recently seen great scientific advances in understanding space weather. Quickly maturing space science models, along with new observational space-borne and ground-based facilities have transformed a wonder of the past into a modern quantitative field of physics with true predictive power.

Starting January 2012 The Catholic University of America (CUA) Department of Physics will provide Masters and PhD graduate training through its new Space Sciences & Space Weather Graduate Program. Graduates will obtain Masters and PhD degrees in Physics under the new program. The new training is designed to address the growing US national and international need for highly skilled space weather scientists, who understand how to apply scientific knowledge to mitigate the impacts of the hazardous space environment. The Space Sciences & Space Weather Graduate Program is designed to provide the needed 21st century training for scientists capable of making connection from basic space science research to applications and operational space weather services. 

Students participating in the new program will: 1) develop quantitative understanding of space physical phenomena, 2) learn to carry out independent scientific research, 3) understand how space weather impacts society, 4) understand how basic research can feed into applications and applications into operational space weather products and 5) understand the importance of interdisciplinary nature of space weather and space sciences in general.  

The program is a collaborative activity between NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and CUA. Some of the instruction and intern opportunities will take place at NASA GSFC. Important components of the training will include joint space science research projects with GSFC’s Heliophysics Science Division as well as operational space weather forecasting experience at GSFC Space Weather Center. CUA will provide competitive stipends to highly qualified applicants.

For more information on the program and stipend opportunities, please contact: Dr. A. Pulkkinen (, or 
Dr. F. Bruhweiler (,